Dry Erase Walls Contribute to Productive Learning Zones
Nowadays, devising well-defined learning zones within classrooms and throughout school buildings are viewed as a key to fostering 21st-century high-impact learning, where students are actively engaged in the educational process, and learning extends beyond the classroom to outdoor areas and even the workplace. For teachers and designers, this approach creates both challenges and new opportunities to come up with creative solutions.
High-impact learning has caused an increased demand in education for flexible spaces that address the individual needs of students who have diverse intelligence and learning styles. Children, adolescents, and adults acquire knowledge in a variety of ways beyond traditional “cells and bells” classroom settings, and learning zones are designed to address this diversity.
Learning Zones Empower Students to Help Educate Themselves
Recent decades have seen a sharp increase in the drive to support collaborative learning and other project-based instructional methods by developing classroom learning zones. These areas, both inside and outside a school building, give students the power to become active participants in their own education and personal growth.
Today’s learners are connected with one another and with the world through electronic media and possess a strong desire for instant access to information through various means. They’re at ease in both real-life and virtual settings, and seek out interactive and communal activities where they have the power to express their voice freely. They are also competent at self-directed activities and can swiftly adapt to new technological advances. This type of quick thinking ability is valuable because most of the careers that young people will be exposed to in the future have not yet been created.
Learning Zones Provide Ideal Places for Spontaneous Learning
From the standpoint of educational space planning, designers and architects have responded to the needs of today’s students by increasing the development of learning zones, which can exist at any location in a school and its surroundings, including outdoor areas. Nowadays, education is taking a more flexible approach, and interest in encouraging spontaneous interactions among learners is on the rise. Thus, today’s educational space designs don’t tell students that “food is available here and learning happens here.” Technological advances, especially Wi-Fi, are redefining the nature of learning environments.
Even tiny areas and hallways are now viewed by designers and educators as effective learning zones, as long as supervision is present to monitor student activity. Zoned spaces allow for the maximum adaptability and serviceability of the existing environment within school buildings, which contain both zones and sub-group zones. Within a given educational facility, it’s possible to find geographical areas that are ideal for active, collaborative learning, such as the media center, computer lab, woodshop, social gathering space, and tutoring center. Within the classrooms, both independent learning and group learning zones can be found.
Dry Erase Paint is Ideal for Application in Learning Zones
Since learning zones throughout a school building are designed to foster spontaneous learning activities, top-quality dry erase paint is ideally suited for application in these areas. When students have ready access to the large open expanse of a dry erase painted wall, they can give free rein to their imaginations in impromptu group brainstorming sessions for class projects, in solving problems for math assignments, and countless other activities.
Dry erase painted walls stimulate student engagement and enthusiasm by offering large spaces to express ideas in learning zones anywhere in a school building. When students experience the great height and width of a dry erase wall, they feel empowered to free associate and brainstorm for as long as they like, and then erase and start all over again.
This sense of freedom to explore and express ideas supports the goal of designers creating learning zones for today’s evolving school culture. Education in the 21st century has become a much more complex process than it was in decades past. We have advanced from a manufacturing-based to an information-based global society, and the need for learning environments that promote creativity and higher-order thinking skills has expanded accordingly. Analysis, evaluation, and the creation of new inventions, along with advanced entrepreneurial skills, have become essential to the educational goals of today’s teachers and students.
Educators now want to make deep-level research and collaboration easier for students, and one of the most straightforward and trouble-free ways to help do so is by applying and using dry erase painted walls in our schools’ ever-expanding learning zones. The large dry erase surfaces encourage collaboration and the practice of intensive research by allowing multiple students to work on topics and questions at the same time and engage in dynamic give-and-take that can lead to a deeper understanding of the most complex issues.
Dry Erase Paint May be Applied in Learning Zones for All Grade Levels
Elementary schools generally have the most significant number of zoned spaces. Here students rotate through various learning centers throughout the day, mostly in the classroom or library. In middle school/junior high and high school, learning zones are being created within the classroom where students break away for active and collaborative learning activities.
The concept of learning zones or centers is being increasingly used in the primary grades. At this level, students stay in one or two classrooms throughout the school day, so the rooms tend to need these kinds of distinct zones. In these grades, dry erase walls constantly come in handy, as young learners study in the same area and have easy access to the walls for various class-related tasks.
Here again, dry erase painted walls are perfect for installing because they offer students a fun and exciting way to write, draw and doodle as much as they like for as long as they like and learn their course content at the same time. Research has shown that young children benefit significantly from doing school work on vertical non-permanent surfaces (VNSs) like dry erase walls, which enhance both their cognitive and psychomotor development.
Students in Higher Grades can also Profit from Dry Erase Walls
As students get older, learning becomes more about attentive listening and less about exploring and discovering. Zones designed for students of upper-grade levels, such as the small group space and the demonstration space, are set up in classrooms or areas devoted to particular academic subjects. In these grades, where more flexibility of movement is possible, learning zones also exist in other parts of a school building outside of classrooms. And all such areas are excellent candidates for the application of premium dry erase paint.
Creating Learning Zones Involves Arranging Furniture
Designing and delineating specialized learning spaces in a school building ultimately comes down to the appropriate use of furniture. The furniture in various parts of a school needs to be easily rearranged to create settings for one-on-one, large-group, small-group, and project-based learning activities, along with performances, presentations, and lectures. In other words, classrooms must allow for easy transitions from learner-led to teacher-guided types of lessons and school activities.
Tables that feature a height adjustment function and can be merged together are common choices, as is lightweight furniture on wheels for easy moving. In addition, classroom chairs should allow for body movement to help students keep their minds focused during lessons. A learning zone’s overall arrangement is also essential, with the teacher’s desk and chair being generally in the middle of the space, not in front all the time. The surfaces of all the furnishings in a learning zone can easily be coated with top-quality dry erase paint to add greater functionality and more opportunities for communication during teacher-student interactions.
Collaborative learning and individualized learning are creating the need for many of the zoned areas that are emerging in today’s schools, and both of these instructional strategies are well served by having premium dry erase painted surfaces available throughout a school for all students to use.